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very small lighting set-up?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by zac850, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    At my school we have a room that doubles as a band room and as a place for small shows (usually student run fundraisers). The lighting system that we have in the room is almost dead, and has gotten to the point where it is unusable. I was wondering what companies have good, quality, yet still cheep equipment. I need a board (a 2 scene pre-set type thing would be fine, and I will only have 15 instruments in there at the most) and dimmers. I currently have an American DJ set, but I'd like to avoid them if at all possible.

    The main instruments that will be used in the space are 12 500 watt fresnels, and possibly an occasional S4 par that I bring down from our main space (575 watt).

    I'm looking to spend $1,000 or less on all this. It doesn't have to be a new, amazing board or dimmers, just something that I can work with. Any large shows will go on in the gym where we have our ETC board, dimmers, and S4's, but for the smaller, student run things it would be nice to have a better set-up.

    Thanks guys. I really don't know what companies have good quality equipment at this level, so thats really what I want to know.

    Thanks
    --Zac
     
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    OK, now I've been searching google, and I've found this http://www.sldlighting.com/catalog/standard.cfm?FamilyID=SS24, which looks like a very nice board, and perfect for what I need.

    I want at least 1000 watts per channel on my dimmers, and just found this dimmer pack http://www.fullcompass.com/products/pages/SKU--60639/. This looks very nice. However, I want to make sure that it is DMX-512 controlled (I think it is, i just want to double check).

    Also, the board is 3 pin DMX, while the dimmers look like there 5 pin DMX. I'm assuming that there are small adaptors to get from 3 pin to 5 pin that I can buy. Does anyone know where/what website would sell these?
     
  3. mr_sound

    mr_sound Member

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    hosa makes a 5 pin to 3 pin conversion..it's female to male though. i imagine they'd make the same with different sexes for converting the other way. i bought mine straight from the guy selling the board....so i don't know which places sell it, but just about any self respecting stage lighting store should have it. try barbizon.com. i buy my tape from them...but they sell a lot of other stuff.
     
  4. Toul

    Toul Member

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    You'll certainly be able to find someone willing to sell you that kind of adapter, but you should ask around about making one before spending any money on them. I've never done it, but I know it can be done, and it's a fairly simple process. In 5 pin DMX, only three of the pins carry actual information; the other two are just for show. If you can find an adapter for very cheap, go ahead and save yourself the trouble, but otherwise, I'd look into making an adapter myself.
     
  5. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hi Zac,

    Making a 3 to 5 pin converter is very simple. Only pins 1, 2 and 3 are used on the 5 pin connector (pins 4 and 5 are sometimes used as a second hot and cold or for controlling scrollers). For what you need, just ignore pins 4 and 5.

    It is just a matter of wiring them up pin to pin. (i.e., 1 to 1, 2 to 2 and 3 to 3).

    Will cost you a couple of bucks (if you don't already have the parts laying around) and a little of your time.
     
  6. DMXtools

    DMXtools Active Member

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    Just watch carefully on your power ratings. It's a 4-channel pack rated for 1200 Watts per channel, but only 2400 watts total. This means you can run a 1200 W lamp on any one channel, as long as the total of the other three channels is no more than another 1200 watts. You could have two 1200-watt loads on two channels and leave the other two open. You could put a 1200-watt load on 1, a 600 on 2 and 300s on 3 and 4... any combination as long as it doesn't exceed 1200 watts for any one channel AND doesn't exceed 2400 watts total for everything plugged into the pack.

    Also, remember - you get what you pay for. American DJ can price their 4-channel pack at $239 because they cut all sorts of corners and have it built in China. How can NSI, with a smaller unit sales volume and higher fixed costs, price their similar pack even lower?

    John
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am making sure of that. I just want to be able to plug 2 lights into one outlet without blowing a fuse. I need the ability to plug 2 500 watt lights into one circuit, because otherwise I don't have enough circuits.
     
  8. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    I'd look at Leprecon stuff here. They have dimmer packs and boards which are a very common rental item and pretty reliable. They have 2400W and 3600W packs for sure. The 3600W one is going to require two circuits (or one 30A service). They have a selection of basic 2 scene (and full scale) type boards as well.

    As far as fixtures, Altman fresnels would be a good thing to investigate. I would get some basic pars in there (not expensive ETC ones, but actual par cans. They're cheap and effective).

    Finally, I would consider purchasing the dimmers and control board used from a rental house possibly. You'd have to look at the condition and price, but, this stuff is pretty standard small show rental gear and it holds up well.

    You're also going to need:

    DMX cable to daisy chain packs and board
    Cable for fixtures - Leppy packs at least are Edison plugs. Get the fixtures and extensions to match the packs, plus adadpters to whatver is in your gym (both ways, edison to gym-plug and gym-plug to edison), stagepin, twistlock, etc.

    How are you going to support the stuff? What you're looking at is something you can do with DJ style trees - they're usually rated for ten or fifteen pounds. Otherwise you'll need either a small crank up truss or pipe and base booms. In the event of the pipe and base booms, you'll need side arms and Tees as well. You can skip out on C clamps for the fixtures. Get more tees than you have sidearms so you're not dicking around pulling them off pipes nad putting htem on others.

    Gels are a basic requirement. I'd figure out a rep plot and stick with it - basic color washes (warm, cool) and specials to match. Buy a bunch of the colors you use.

    I'm not sure of the prices on the Leppy gear, but, I think this sort of setup is definetely workable with your budget, especially if you were to go used on some of the more expensive stuff.
     
  9. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Most of that stuff we have covered. We have 3 pipes hanging from the ceiling of the room that all of this is in, and there are plugs in the ceiling that I plug the lights into. We already have the 12 fresnels (all edison). We also have a few pin to edison and edison to pin cables so I can bring a S4 down for a show, or bring the fresnels up to the gym to be used as specials or whatever I want them for (I used them as specials for the last show).

    We also already have the cables and DMX stuff. And I have gels for the gym, and I'll just take some cuts from there for whatever i need for the fresnels.

    However, I will look closer at Lepercon, and I'll also call up some rental places in the area and see what they can sell us, and what prices they can give.

    Thanks
    Zac
     
  10. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    With leppy stuff you'll have leftovers. Get some pars. Twofers might be handy also
     

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